From Sparkling Water to Hoppy Beer, Ross MBAs take on Food and Beverage Challenges in a Changing Industry


Everyone’s gotta eat––and an enormous industry exists around the world to cater to that need, supplying products for everything from nutritional must-haves to cravings for sweets. Ross MBAs are experiencing the ins and outs of this wide-ranging industry in real-time right now, as they tackle some of the biggest challenges large food and beverage businesses are facing.

These students are among 400 first-year MBAs working across the world to solve tricky problems at real companies. It’s all part of the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) course, which has sent Michigan Ross students to consult, learn, and innovate at businesses and corporations for 25 years. This year they are working on 83 projects for 74 companies in 25 different countries.

Check out a selection of the Consumer Packaged Goods and Marketing MAPs students are working on this year:


Abbott Nutrition boasts a suite of pediatric, adult, and healthy living nutritional product brands––including children’s Pedialyte, Ensure for older adults, and Similac infant formulas. Ross MBAs are creating a business assessment for Abbott Nutrition and identifying business opportunities to better serve first responders.


The California-based company specializes in almond milk products and juices, and it seeks to make its operations as sustainable as possible. Califia has tasked four Ross students with creating a model program to replenish the water used to grow the almonds used in its food and beverage products.


It’s one of the biggest beverage manufacturers in the world, and this year for MAP, six Ross MBAs are crafting a competitive strategy for PepsiCo’s sparkling water category.


The New Belgium Brewing Company opened in 1991 and is famous for its Fat Tire Amber Ale and a variety of Belgian-inspired beers. As the craft beer market has exploded in popularity, New Belgium is seeking to remain competitive. The company has assigned five Ross students with developing a strategy and set of tactics for winning back lost volume from the emergence of local craft beer and brewpubs. (Pictured above. Image from MJPozolo90 on Instagram)

The above is just a small selection of the 83 diverse projects currently happening around the world — check out some of the other projects Ross students are working on:

Read about this year’s Technology projects

Read about this year’s Social Impact-focused projects

A full-list of 2017 project descriptions will be available at a later date on the Ross website.

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